Chapter Six

Fitting Hoof Boots

Chapter Seven

Booting Different Sized Horses

Chapter Eight

Using Hoof Boots for Rehabilitation

Using Hoof Boots For Rehabilitation - soaking and therapy boots

Soaking or rehab boots for barefoot horses are exactly that.

Hoof boots used to rehabilitate the equine bare hoof or limb after injury, or to boost health - and as such are not used for work and exercise. In general, they are also not used for turn out, although evidence suggests that lots of horse owners do use them for this purpose, to protect a dressing. Bear in mind however that some manufacturers’ warranties may not be valid if remedial hoof boots are used for purposes other than standing therapy! If you do need a boot for light turn out, choose a therapy boot (e.g the RX), as opposed to a soaking boot (eg. the Easy Soaker) - see more info below.

Why soak the foot?

Soaking boots are often used to soak the horse’s hoof or limb to treat abscesses and conditions like thrush. Soaks are also said to provide relief for bruising, and may accelerate healing in the horse or pony’s bare hoof by increasing circulation.

Some hoofcare professionals state that soaking equine hooves prior to barefoot trimming speeds up the trimming process, as the hooves are easier to manipulate, and that soaking may also help any unwanted, retained sole loosen and drop off. However, we do advising leaving the feet as nature intended, unless there’s a specific reason to soak - e.g. we do not advocate soaking regularly for the sake of it; only when a specific need arises! Turn-out fields designed thoughtfully with varying terrain and surfaces often include waterlogged areas which will fulfil a similar purpose to booted soaking, more naturally. However, they obviously don’t provide the clean environment required for something like a soak designed to treat abcesses! In the latter case, a therapy boot is ideal, and the hoof is usually soaked for 20 to 30 minutes daily in comfortably hot water before dressing - the boot may also be used to keep the dressing clean, with your equine healthcare provider’s support and guidance.

Sizing

Easycare, who make the Easysoaker hoof boot, state: “We recommend ‘sizing up’. Sizing up [a therapy boot] by one to two sizes allows extra space for liquids and bandages to be used inside the boot. In addition, a larger size makes application and removal quicker and easier.”

The RX therapy boot

The Easyboot RX offers stability and support without being heavy. This is the ideal hoof boot for horses that need support or relief from chronic lameness, laminitis, founder, navicular and numerous other lower limb or hoof disorders.

The Easyboot RX can be used to speed recovery and offer protection to the hoof and lower limb after surgery or injury, lessen fatigue and add protection during transport in a lorry or trailer. The RX is also useful for use when covering mares.

The RX boot can be used for light turnout such as in a round pen or yard, or short walks in hand. You may need to go up one or two sizes if you are intending to put the boot on over a bandaged hoof.

 

The Easy Soaker

Easycare’s Easy Soaker is designed for applications where protection or treatment of the hoof is required. The Easy Soaker can be used for soaking or poulticing the horses hoof, medicating at a wound site on the hoof, or just to keep the hoof clean and protected. The Easy Soaker can be used to soak very dry hooves if required, and condition the hooves of barefoot horses; it is ideal for poulticing or soaking the horse’s foot.

The Easysoaker is not a boot designed for the horse to wear whilst unattended.